Children love the park. The wide open spaces to run and jump and be active. It is a wonderful place to connect as a family. Children are normally up to go to the park. Plus, you add food and it is a winner for a family activity. I would like to offer ideas to consider for making this a time that families can connect and find this fun and rewarding.
Putting the “FUN & CONNECTION” in Your Family Picnic
- Plan together as to where you will go and when. Plus, what you will take and do when you are there. This extra piece of planning together as a family is connecting and it helps with everyone buying into going. Another possibility is to let each family member have a turn at choosing a park to go to opposed to jointly deciding. This would of course mean that you can plan enough picnics to accommodate all the family members.
- Have everyone in the family make or help make a food item to take to the picnic. Contributing is rewarding and can help each family member feel valuable no matter how small.
- You might consider everyone choosing an item they want to take to the park – toys or pieces of equipment or materials they wish to bring for fun. Examples: Balls, Frisbees, Sidewalk Chalk, Bubbles, etc.
- Have a “technology free” day. Cell phones can be silenced and texting, emailing, etc can be put on hold during your outing. Yes, you may get a few grumbles, but families can be in charge of technology and how it affects their family. Letting your technology have a rest, while you connect face to face is a good thing! Letting everyone know ahead of time can be helpful and it can also offer you the opportunity to explain why – that you want to be truly WITH everyone face to face and without the interruptions of the outside world.
- As parents attempting to give all the children a bit of your full attention and focus. It can be quite a balancing act, but worth the effort.
- Consider ending the time together as you travel home with everyone reflecting on their favorite parts of the picnic. This can highlight the good parts of the family activity. Of course there will be hick ups and this is a way to keep focus on the successful parts of the trip.
Check out www.tulsawalk.com if you need help locating parks in Tulsa, OK. This site also has the park sites for the surrounding OK towns of Catoosa, Bixby, Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Owasso and Sand Springs.
You might also want to visit the Tulsa County Parks website: www.parks.tulsacounty.org/ . This has information on the major Parks and Centers, Special Events, Activities, Maps and Reservations.
Hope you have lots of fun family picnics this spring, summer and fall!